Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Are We There Yet?

Old Canal Boat in Metamora, Indiana

     We are absolutely spoiled!!  In this day and age, we can be across the country in just a few hours (~ if you don't count sitting in airports on layovers!  LOL) and across the pond to London in 1/2 a day.

     When most of us start looking up the old family tree, we usually just want to start getting names and dates on paper.  But after a while, you really start getting interested in their stories. What made them leave the old country?  How did they get to America? What would make you leave your home in Maryland, and start over in a brand new state named Indiana?  How did you get here?

     This last question has crossed my mind lately as I research several of my lines.  I have traced them back to Maryland, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania and other points along the Atlantic Coast.  My husband is lucky enough to have a journal in his possession that his ancestor wrote from his life in Denmark all the way through his trek across the country to Utah in the 1830's.  So, he has written proof in the trials and tribulations of cross-country travel in pioneer times.

     I have found no such diary or accounts of how many of my ancestors settled in the Midwest.  So, the next best thing that I could do is just plain research on how most of these areas were settled. For example, I discovered that the National Road was completed from Maryland to Wheeling, West Virginia in the year 1818.  This is the exact year that my ancestor, Adam Moore, left Maryland and arrived in Indiana.  Wheeling is set along the Ohio River, which then runs all the way to the Mississippi River.  Adam could easily have taken the National Road to Wheeling, where he then traveled on the Ohio River with his family to Lawrenceburg, Indiana.  Just a few more miles down the road and he was able to settle the town that still bears his name, Moores Hill.

     So, I ask did your family get settled where they did?  Conestoga wagon, canal boat, railroad, river travel...or a combination of all of these?  We all have stories...what is yours?  I would love to hear your family's story!!!


Saturday, March 25, 2017

History...Up in Smoke

     "The executors of the Moore estate sold the furnishings and other contents of the old house to an antique dealer.  What he left was swept out into the yard and burned--a tragic loss."

     The above words are taken out of a book about Moores Hill College in Moores Hill, Indiana.  John C. Moore, the founder of the college, was a brother to my ancestor, Levin S. Moore.  Which means that they shared the same mother and father.
      Reading this sentence on the page above made me just about cry.  The parents that they shared, Adam and Judith Moore, travelled from Maryland to Indiana in 1818 and settled the town that bares their name.  I have read in other books that Adam was a well-read man and had a large library of books he would share with his friends and neighbors.
     This tells me that John, I am sure, probably had a large collection of his father's books.  He might have even had a journal or personal writings of his father.  To read that much of it was "swept out into the yard and burned"- just makes me burn!!!
     I would love to go back in time and prevent that craziness!  The sad thing is that this was probably fairly common and I am sure that many of you have probably faced something like this also. 
     Do any of you have stories like this that just make you wanna cry?  Tell them to the rest of us...maybe we can have one gigantic cryfest and get it out of our system.  Seriously, I would love to hear if you have stories like this also.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Welcome to This Hoosier's Heritage

     Welcome to my new blog!  As I've been researching my family tree, I have discovered so much more about history and my heritage in general, also.  As you might have guessed from the picture above, I have a fair amount of German heritage in my family.

     This sign means so much more to me than just decoration at a local German festival near my hometown. My great-great grandfather came from the New Alsace (Elsass) area of Germany in 1871.  Although he was born into a very German heritage, he actually was a French citizen when he left for the New Country.

     I discovered that I needed to brush up on my history a little to understand what was happening at that time.  The Alsace-Lorraine area sat on the border of France and Germany. It changed hands several times. When Germany became one unified country in 1870, the area belonged to France. It stayed in French possession until World War I.

     As I research further into my other German ancestors, I have discovered that I have to keep my Germany timeline cheat sheet near me to look at the years. What years did my other ancestors leave the Old Country for America? What was happening in Germany at that time?

     So, as you look further back into your ancestors' lives, don't forget to look a little closer at your history books, also.  This might just give you a few clues into why they chose to come to a whole new country.